Normally, if you were to see a small child dressed in head-to-toe brown and green sparkles portraying a tree, you might think it were a little odd.
However, if you are a Brenhamite and you see a small child dressed in head-to-toe brown and green sparkles portraying a tree, the next thought would be, “I wonder where all the other woodland creatures are? They must be coming up on the next float.”
Welcome to Brenham.
Home of Bluebell Ice Cream, Friday Night Lights and Maifest.
This gajillion-year-old tradition is one of the biggest things in this town [the county fair is wayyy better, but that’s just my opinion].
There is even royalty. Yes, you read that right. Four people are selected to reign over the majestic courts in their fancy attire. 275 foot trains, crowns, tiaras, septors, the whole she-bang.
And then there’s the costumes for all the little children to wear.
Of course, the costumes have to fall into the theme that is selected for that particular year. And I have come to the conclusion that whoever does these costumes has no regard for any of the participant’s dignity. Because they’re ridiculous. “Oh, the theme is I Love Summer! This little girl should be Sunburn. And this person will be the Aloe Gel.”
Over the years, I have had some ridiculous costumes. I never even liked Maifest actually, but it was the “Brenham” thing to do. So I participated and complained the whole way through. Until that one year I was a dog. I mean, I’ll be a good sport and do almost anything for the sake of a good time, but that crossed the line.
And the list of costumes starts now.
1. Nun – this one was simple, but to this day I still don’t understand why I was given this costume. The photo set actually had dice and cards in the background, so as you can imagine, this picture is pure gold. Unfortunately, I don’t exactly know where it is. I may have hid it that one summer when I went and put all my pictures from junior high in the back of the cabinet.
2. Icecicle – leotard with silver tassels that constantly shed with each small step I took. Oh, and the other girl in this picture was a red jellybean. Of course, right?
3. Betty Gable – this costume was probably the best looking and my favorite, but it was also the most uncomfortable and itchy thing I ever wore. Terrible choice in fabric. Also, black gloves in May was an awful idea.
4. Lollipop – I actually had a giant lollipop to carry during the ceremony, and as your resident childhood fattypants, I actually ate it during the Coronation. Like the whole giant, sugar-filled, size-of-my-face lollipop.
5. Poodle – tutu, ears, tail, neck-ruffles, wrist-ruffles, ankle-ruffles. There was actually a routine with this costume and I had to crawl out of a dog house, shake a food bowl, and sing into my long tail. Which had a poofball at the end of it.
Pure golden magic right here.
So there you have it. Brenham’s oldest and weirdest tradition.